Published: 31st July 2016
Author: Carrie Aarons
Fear stops dreams in their tracks before they even have a chance. Then again, so do injuries.
Natalia Grekov was born to win a gold medal. As the USA’s top gymnast, she’s calm, confident and ready to make her country proud in just two short months. And her elite athlete lifestyle includes no time for distractions—especially men. When a disastrous fall in practice puts her dreams at risk, it seems the only person who can help her is the one person she wants nothing from.
Spencer Russell is gymnastics’ bad boy. A cocky, laid-back charmer with abs of steel and a witty mouth, he waltzes around the U.S. Gymnastics Training Camp like he owns the place—even though he doesn’t anymore. After an injury sidelined his career and any chance at glory, he’s now just a coach, helping other gymnasts reach their goals. Serious is not a word in Spencer’s vocabulary. But when Natalia tumbles into his life, he’s suddenly sincerely interested in helping the blonde beauty in any way he can.
Can they vault over the obstacles standing in their way? Or will Spencer be the distraction that causes Natalia’s chance at gold to crash and burn?
Favourite Natalia quote:
“Sex is the ultimate sport; you can have fun, get exercise, and at the end, everyone gets a medal in the form of an orgasm.”
Good timing with the Rio Olympics just starting to have this one coming out and to have it as if the characters really are training to get picked for the American team to go to Rio was cool. Gave a bit of an insight into what they might have to go through.
Natalia has only wanted one thing from the age of three when she started gymnastics, to get up on that podium with a gold medal around her neck at the Olympics. Nothing is going to stop her from reaching that goal. Well nothing except maybe this fear that has come out of nowhere and a pair of eyes that seem to see right through her. From the moment she meets Spencer she is slightly floored by him. Funny really as she is the one that almost floors him with a chair but he really should have been looking where he was going. If his eyes weren’t dreamy enough then his muscled chest – that happens to always be on display as he has an aversion to shirts – is definitely a winner. One look and she is intrigued but she also knows where it might lead so plans to keep a bit of distance. Pity Spencer has no such plans.
Spencer is 22 and has felt like he has been stuck at Novak Filipek’s training camp for a while. Ever since his dreams of being an Olympic champion where dashed at the last ones from a bad shoulder injury he has stayed on as a coach. Feeling that if he can’t make it then he will help others. He just doesn’t really approve of the methods used there, especially by Novak himself. In the leading months to try outs and the main event at Rio he thought it would just be training that would keep his focus. That’s before Nat almost crashes into him. One look and he knows he wants a taste and when she makes it clear she doesn’t want anything to happen that might make her lose focus it just makes the chase so much better.
The chemistry is seen between them from the start, sparks are flying but more so after a little late night skinny-dipping! At the first test tryouts though he can see she needs help. Out of all her areas the beam is giving her trouble. Her dismount is weak and only after Jared, another gymnast, points it out does he see that its fear that’s holding her back. Pulling her aside before she causes a bigger scene he convinces her to let him help her. This is were their flirty friendship starts and then blooms into something a whole lot hotter. With her in a skimpy leotard and him just in shorts with his hands on her all the time helping positioning her for her exit leap its little wonder that end up together. More so when he moves his hand when he is meant to be spotting her and they tumble into the pit. Getting up close and personal with a certain area of his in the pit has her rethinking her whole idea of staying just flirty friends, she’s come around to the idea of having something a little more fun. Which is what happens later that night. They are electric when they are together, whether with training or in bed, but you are just waiting for a blowout between them to happen. You know it is just around the corner, even if you don’t know what form it might take.
A coach and a gymnast together would cause issues. Even though they start out as just a friends with benefits kind of thing it soon turns into a relationship whether they are ready for it or not. Spencer started out with just helping her with her blind landing jump but it seems that jumping off the beam isn’t the only thing making her fear. Fear of needing someone or then of losing them is greater than anything. Nat just has to see what she wants more or maybe if she can find a way to have both.
Side note – Novak the coach is a complete dickwad. Can’t believe the things he gets away with his training methods. Lets just say he gets his just desserts and I couldn’t be happier. If only it hadn’t been in as an extreme way but probably needed to happen to create a big enough scene.
Great start to a new series though that I will definitely want to keep an eye out for. The next one I have a feeling will be about Peyton and Jared. Can’t wait to read the back-story there; more importantly can’t wait for them to break and just pounce on each other again. From the sexual tension you see between them you know it will be good.
4 out of 5 stars
I received this ARC from Give Me Books for my honest review.